Moscow could aim nuclear weapons at targets in Europe as part of "retaliatory steps" if Washington proceeds with building a missile defense system on the continent, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday.
Why is the self-esteem of the Russian people so bound up in claiming authority through the threat of force? Times are tough in Russia, Putin's been shoring up power and eliminating his critics. By stoking the anti-USA embers, he's hoping to distract russians from the congealing totalitarian regime in Moscow.
Putin also suggested that in the absence of a real threat from Iranian and North Korean missiles, the U.S. plan could be an attempt to spoil Russia's relations with Europe.
Well, if Russia's relations with Europe are based on the threat of force, then maybe Europe wouldn't mind some spoilage.